How do dry coolers and chillers work?
Both a dry cooler and a chiller can be used in similar process applications to achieve optimal temperatures. However, for a dry cooler, heat transfer is accomplished by drawing in outside air and circulating it over pipes containing a cooling fluid (typically water or water-glycol mixture).
The cooled fluid is then circulated through a heat exchanger connected to an associated process. Excess heat transferred to the cooling fluid is then returned to the dry cooler and the cycle is restarted.
It is important to note that a dry cooler does not have a standard refrigeration unit that cools a circulating refrigerant. Rather, it uses fans to draw in ambient air to cool its heated fluid medium.
Dry coolers are a viable alternative to evaporative towers due to a significant reduction in both operating costs and annual water consumption. In addition, unlike cooling towers that use water solutions, air allows to avoid the problems related to the formation of sediments.